Lagos State Governorship Election Tribunal Upholds Sanwo-Olu’s Victory
The Lagos State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has delivered a unanimous judgment upholding the election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the duly elected governor of the state.
In a ruling read by Justice Mikail Abdullahi on behalf of the three-member panel, the tribunal deemed the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate, Olajide Adediran, lacking in merit and subsequently dismissed it.
Before reaching its verdict, the tribunal addressed preliminary objections raised by the parties involved, carefully considering the issues at hand.
The first issue addressed was whether the tribunal had the competence and jurisdiction to hear the petition. Justice Abdullahi affirmed that it did, as this matter had already been resolved during the preliminary objection stage.
The second matter for determination by the tribunal was whether Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, were validly nominated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest the polls. The tribunal cited relevant provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act, as well as previous legal precedents, stating that this was a pre-election issue unrelated to the conduct of the contested polls.
Furthermore, the tribunal ruled that the petitioners were not members of the APC, the 4th respondent, and therefore lacked the standing to challenge the party’s primaries that produced both candidates.
Regarding the alleged forged certificate presented by Governor Sanwo-Olu, the tribunal noted that the petitioner, Jandor, testified that Sanwo-Olu did not attend Community Grammar School, Ijebu-Ife, where the certificate originated. Jandor also stated that the school’s principal was still alive. The tribunal questioned why Jandor did not call the principal or any staff as witnesses to testify about the certificate.
In its final analysis, the tribunal declared, “that the petition lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed. I affirm the election and return of Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu as the duly elected governor of Lagos state. Parties are to bear their cost.”
The Lagos Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal’s ruling also dismissed the petitions brought by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and the Labour Party, who had challenged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s victory in the March 18 governorship election.
Justice Mikhail Abdullah announced this decision while delivering judgment on the objections raised by the respondents in the case.